Do you ever feel like sometimes we just hurry so much through our daily lives that we just don’t give ourselves time or a chance to sit and become aware of what’s happening? I guess I just feel like we’re so busy always moving, getting chores done, working on our life – our house, our bodies – we just forget to enjoy those little moments where your mind is just empty of everything.
I love those moments. I love when I suddenly just become… aware.
I get that feeling when the sun is out and streaming in through our apartment windows. That’s why I love sitting on that black chair in front of the window next to the TV in the living room. Sometimes I read, but sometimes I literally will just sit there cradling my cup of coffee, wrapped up in a blanket, and look out the window. Thing is, from that chair and that window, there isn’t really much to see or watch. The people are too far away to see their features, you can’t see into the cars driving by, there really isn’t a whole lot that happens around 1000 Broadview anyway. But that’s kind of a relief, it’s kind of a blessing because it allows me to look at nothing.
By sitting 15 floors above the world, looking at nothing, I don’t see faces which remind me, “oh I should get in touch with so-and-so. Haven’t spoken with them in a while”. By not moving at ground level through the world, I don’t see advertisements that pressure me to get this thing done that I’ve been meaning to get done for so long. I don’t see bodies that I wish I had. I don’t imagine what a person’s life is like when I have literally no information on the stranger walking by because I can’t see them from where I’m perched.
For the record, I very much enjoy assigning stories to complete strangers. I like trying to imagine how mundane their life is. Because c’mon, 99% of the world’s population has a routine life that consists of more or less the same habits day in, day out. They might be completely different habits from our own, but there is still routine, regardless. Occasionally I’ll give them a strange and highly unlikely life – like they’re a secret spy. Or they and their partner are in a polygamous relationship and on a weekly basis they meet up at an underground sex meetup for a night of unattached orgies with people they never really get to know beyond the shape and feel of their bodies. Or they’re a real-life Dexter.
But generally I imagine them as a single mother working during the day, going home after work and feeding her kids. Sometimes I’ve imagined a person who has some kind of illness and they volunteer at the animal shelter and it brings them such therapy and happiness to go and be with the animals. Sometimes I imagine a retired couple trying new things to keep themselves busy – like becoming wine connoisseurs, or taking pottery classes, or looking into travelling around the world. Sometimes I just give them a place they’re going – to the beach, to the grocery store, to the cafe, just for a walk.
But I don’t give stories to people when I’m sitting 15 floors above the general population. This is when I don’t think of anything. I just look into the sky, watch the clouds meander by, watch the birds, watch the plastic grocery bag that sometimes gets so much wind it floats higher than our floor. And this is when I just stop thinking about things that aren’t happening right now. I stop thinking about the future – of my to-do list that’s always growing and always stuck at the back of my head; or of things that have happened in the past and how I felt mad, or sad, or disappointed, or confused.
It’s these moments that I become more aware of myself and my body. The comforting warmth of the sun streaming through the window, blinding me, but I refuse to move to the shade or to cover my eyes because I like the painful comfort. I feel my legs curled under me, my body encased in the warm, fuzzy blanket. I usually slouch super low so my head can rest against the back and I get an even better view of the wide sky.
These are the moments when my mind is emptiest and clearest. I think it’s the closest thing I have to meditation – maybe it even is a form of meditation.
Either way, it’s lovely. It’s nice to stop thinking sometimes, don’t you think?